The named celery moon plant in Antiquity deserves its place in the vegetable garden. But the ideal is to cultivate different varieties because they are delicious and full of virtues. It is not without difficulties, it must be admitted, but with a little rigor you can obtain quite satisfactory results. Let’s see what are the best conditions for sowing then transplanting celery, what care it must take and when to harvest.
The different varieties of celery to grow in the vegetable garden
Some varieties of celery are rarely on our market stalls, yet they deserve to be known. Anyway, here are the ones we consume the most:
- The turnip celery which is none other than the celeriac,
- Ribbed celery or stalk celery,
- Chinese celery also called cutting celery or leaf celery.
They all three descend fromSwamp Ache or Get rid of it (Levisticum officinale), a condiment plant. Celery, which was initially only classified as a medicinal plant, is now widely consumed.
Growing celery, a task that requires time and experience
Growing celery requires some gardening experience because it is not as easy as one might think due to the requirement of celery, namely a cool soil that warms up quickly and in which the water does not stagnate. But in addition it must be very rich in humus while remaining light.
Another difficulty encountered by amateur gardeners: the seeds they are enough capricious. They germinate very slowly (when they germinate!). The conditions required for germination are thepermanent humidity and one hot enough substrate. Specialists advise using a thick layer of newspaper to cover the seedlings until emergence is complete.
If you want to grow celery from the seedlings, it is therefore necessary to proceed in four steps:
- In March or April, sow on warm soilpreferably in a greenhouse or under a makeshift glazed frame in order to maintain an ambient temperature of 15°C,
- Six weeks later, perform the transplanting seedlings in individual buckets then place them in the nursery and keep the soil always moist,
- And second transplant in new cups a few weeks later is to be carried out for the celeriac. The seedlings should be placed in the nursery once more,
- Planter finally celeriac and celeriac in place once they are at least 30 and 35 cm high respectively.
It is necessary to respect an interval of 40 cm between plants but also between the rows of celery.
The leafy celery love them acidic to basic soils as long as they are rich in nitrogen, an essential nutrient to promote the growth of the foliage of all plants. It must be installed in a sunny area in the morning and semi-shaded in the afternoon because this celery can suffer from the hot summer weather. It needs a lot of water, especially during periods of drought.
Chinese celery is sown under cover from February if the soil is always at a minimum of 15°C. Transplanting takes place in place from the end of April until the beginning of June. Any risk of severe frost must absolutely be ruled out.. The planting period is therefore chosen according to its region.
From the month of June we can install a mulch at the foot of the plantations in order to keep the soil cool.
In terms of irrigation, regularity is required as well as rigor. We know that celery (all varieties combined) likes moist soil, but it hate standing water. It can’t stand wet leaves either, as this exposes it to rust and promotes septoria, a disease to which it is particularly susceptible.
Cover the ribbed celery
At the end of the summer season, the celery stalks must be covered with thick sheets of cardboard so that they whiten. We do not cover all of our culture at the same time, but only according to the needs in terms of consumption. It is therefore advisable toto anticipate since the plants must remain so covered for a period 8 to 15 days in order to obtain the desired result.
During the fall, around October 15, in any case before the first frosts appear, it is necessary to cover with dead leaves the stems of celery-branches left free, that is to say those that are kept not for consumption but to recover the seeds.
Cut the leaves
This concerns celeriac. Leaf cutting should be done in September, when summer comes to an end. We take the opportunity to eliminate the roots that grow too many around the main root. These treatments have the effect of boosting the formation of turnips.
Diseases, parasites and pests of celery
The rust, quite common in the vegetable garden, can be combated with different decoctions (garlic, horsetail, onion), Bordeaux mixture or manure (comfrey, nettle). These are all natural solutions to be preferred if rust attacks are moderate. In the event of a more substantial problem, it is necessary to use a sulfur treatment product or even a copper-based one.
The septoriose or septoria leaf spot disease is caused by fungus Septoria apiicola. This fungal disease transmitted by seeds attacks the foliar system of the plant so that spots whose color oscillates between beige and brown appear on the leaf blades. The disease eventually leads to leaf necrosis. This disease is difficult to avoid. However, you can try to protect your celery crop by observing the following points:
- Soak celery seeds in hot water before sowing.
- Plant celery in a well ventilated area of the garden, therefore exposed to the wind,
- Observe a sufficient distance between the plants and the rows, the ideal being not to exceed 550 feet per plot of 100 m².
The virus is a common viral disease in the vegetable garden and does not spare celery. It is transmitted by parasitesthem vector insects being mainly aphids, and less frequently whiteflies and thrips. The virus can be identified by blistering or embossing on the leaves and the presence of spots (yellow, pale green to dark green) as well as mottling. There is no no solution to remove the virus. On the other hand, one can adopt prevention methods such as frequent weeding of cultivated plots because weeds harbor aphids and other insects.
In addition to the aphids, whiteflies and thrips mentioned above, we can also fear the celery fly and the gastropods (slugs and snails). The first attack in spring and summer, the latter are especially invasive after a good rain when the temperatures are mild. In such conditions, they proliferate at high speed. Install an insect net on his celery crops limit the damage. Spread sand at the foot of plantations prevents gastropods from approaching them.
Harvest the celery
Celeriac is harvested from August 15. Those are the roots that we consume. They are pulled out as and when needed, knowing however that they can be kept very well in a cool and well ventilated cellar for about 5 months. Note that the last celeriac harvest must be done before the first frosts.
Stalk celery can be harvested from mid-July. His leaves are cut at ground level as required. As for Chinese celery or leaf celery, it is harvested during the winter.
Finally, it is important to know that once the harvest has been completed, it is strongly advised not to grow new celery in the same place the following year. The ideal is to observe a 4 year truce if you have no other place available on your plot or to opt for the rotation des cultures if you are lucky enough to have a sufficiently spacious vegetable garden.